Runological Time Travel
I want to watch medieval people make runic graffiti on a stavechurch!!!
I haven’t been following the PostADay suggestions, although if I like one I make a note of it as it’s always useful to keep a list of ideas.
But I couldn’t resist this one!
As a medievalist, time travel is a subject which tends to crop up from time to time in chat. But this was a different take on it, having a machine that would only give you an hour at a time.
If the machine had to be programmed with a specific date and time, rather than an event (such as the invention of runes… *drool*…) then I would have to pick the end of a Sunday service in one of the most inscribed stavechurches in Norway, a year after it had been built.
Obviously if you get several goes, I could visit them all. It would be really hard having only one go, as I very much doubt they scratched graffiti every time they went to church.
In case you are wondering about my very specific and obscure choice, this is the subject of my thesis.
The reason for choosing a year after it was built would be to test my theory that the graffiti wasn’t all made by builders. If it was all there already I might be wrong. If I had extra goes I could then go a year earlier and meet the builders.
If I went to Torpo in 1192 I could ask Master Builder Thorolf if he had made Ål too. Unless that was to be in his future…
I might pick Borgund, the most inscribed stavechurch, probably built around 1180. You never know, I could see my knotrune being made! 😀
I could try to catch a specific inscription being written. It would be supercool to visit Vinje stavechurch on the Saturday after Botolf’s mass in 1194 to see if that was indeed the year that Sigurd Jarlsson wrote on the doorframe that he refused to reconcile with king Sverri, who killed his father and brothers in Norway’s civil war.
I think I’d need to take my supervisor, or a friend who was better than me at Old Norse, if I wanted to ask questions though. Our reconstruction of pronunciation is probably wildly wrong so communication could be tricky.
Unless Google have perfected their real time spoken language translator by the time our time machine is invented, which seems likely as that tech is a tad more advanced that time travel, which most scientists believe is impossible, especially backwards.
Oh it would be great!
Another thing I’d like to do if it was a tardis sort of machine where you can bring stuff back is to go to the Cotton library just before the terrible fire on the 23rd of October 1731 and
steal rescue all the priceless medieval manuscripts that got destroyed 😦
It would also be good to just go and listen to authentic medieval music.
But I’d be glad not to have the risk of getting stuck there. See, in the discussion on whether you’d go back to live, I wouldn’t. But to visit, a big fat YES PLEASE!
It would be great to have this tool for my research, but until such a time, I shall just have to content myself with ordinary research methods.
It seems strange to me that most people whose posts on this topic that I read would either go forward, or back to something that happened in their own life. And if they went back further, it was to change history. I just want to observe 🙂
As far as PhDs go, it doesn’t just help to be obsessed with one’s research topic, it’s actually compulsory…